BY BEN BILUA
EMPOWER Pacific – a Fiji based NGO has officially opened its branch in the Solomon Islands last week.
A brief opening ceremony was held at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) and was attended by the acting Chief Executive Officer of (NRH) Dr Rooney Jagili, Department Heads and staff of Referral Hospital Dr Sevil Huseynova, WHO Solomon Islands Representative and Mr Roland Dilip, Australian High Commission and DFAT Representative Ms Debbie Sade, staffs of Empower Pacific and NRH.
Speaking during the ceremony Chief Guest, Undersecretary (Acting) of Health Improvement within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr Nemia Bainivalu said the establishment Empower Pacific adds bonus to the service at the National Referral Hospital now that counselling services is available at the Hospital.
He said the establishment was success of a Deed of Agreement signed between the Ministry of Health and Medical Service and Empower Pacific mid last year for the provision of psychosocial support services in various health facilities around the country.
Dr Bainivalu stressed that the partnership guarantees an integration of counselling and social services into the country’s health systems.
“Having psychosocial support services integrated into the health systems is very vital for holistic service delivery on the part of Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
“We are beginning this journey from National Referral Hospital today (Thursday last week) with the possibility of expanding these services to other health facilities around the country,” he said.
Dr Bainivalu adds that nurses and doctors who always work under pressure on daily basis will also seek Counselling services at the centre.
He said partnership with Empower Pacific contribute towards achieving Ministry of Health and Medical Services National Outcome Objectives hence further contributing towards Key Result Areas (KRA’s) and the wider SDG’s.
“To be effective at improving health we cannot continue to work in isolation, as health is generated by both our work and the impact we make with our partners.”
“This statement by clearly identifies the need for partnership and a coordinated approach to improving health hence the current partnership between Ministry and Empower Pacific is the testimony to this,” Dr Bainivalu said.
Manager of Empower Pacific, Solomon Islands branch Mrs. Lavinia Dakei said Empower Pacific offers full range of Counselling services and the services includes; counselling for attempted suicide/suicide risk, child abuse/neglect/children at risk, depression (including Post Natal Depression), stress related illnesses or distress, people experiencing anxiety (including anxiety related to major life events like surgery), abuse survivors (domestic violence/rape/assault), grief & Loss (death of loved one, terminal illness, amputees, pregnancy complications), trauma (accidents, disasters, crises), teenage pregnancies and marital/ relationship problems.
She said Empower Pacific seeks to enhance the full potential of communities by working in partnership with government and other community agencies to ensure a holistic model of professional health services.
“Our mission is to empower individuals, families and communities to reach their full potential by providing access to professional, holistic health and social development services.
“These approaches are targeted to needs-based psychosocial support programs which aim to empower people to address the barriers to living healthy positive lives,” Mrs Dakei said.
She also said that Empower Pacific has Social Work programme targeting vulnerable Families, children and Psycho-social Support in Disaster.
Mrs Dakei explained that social outreach programmes provides holistic multi-disciplinary case with longer term support for vulnerable and marginalized people and at the same time assist children and their families have access to support to reduce risks of abuse, neglect and trauma, and to promote over-all child safety and wellbeing.
She said Empower Pacific has 20 years of experience and all its programs are holistically designed to address psychological, social, financial and physical health of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Mrs Dakei said the establishment of Empower Pacific in the country paves a way forward for greater partnership with other government ministries and NGOs to improve counselling service and build strong foundation for vulnerable people.